Self-Styled Cyborg Dreams of Outwitting Superintelligent Machines

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Kevin Warwick gently squeezed his hand into a fist one day in 2002, a robotic hand came to life 3,400 miles away and mimicked the gesture. The University of Reading cybernetics professor had successfully wired the nerves of his forearm to a computer in New York City's Columbia University and networked them to a robotic system back in his Reading, England, lab. "My body was effectively extended over the Internet," Warwick says.

It's a far cry from his vision of transforming humanity into a race of half-machine cyborgs able to commune with the digital world—there is no spoon, Neo—but such an evolution is necessary, says 54-year-old Warwick. Those who don't avail themselves of subcutaneous microchips and other implanted technology, he predicts, will be at a serious disadvantage in tomorrow's world, because they won't be able to communicate with the "superintelligent machines" sure to be occupying the highest rungs of society, as he explains in a 2003 documentary, Building Gods, which is circulating online.

Something of a self-promoter, Warwick, or "Captain Cyborg" as a U.K. newspaper once dubbed him, has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and other shows on the TV talk circuit to tout his work. In his 2004 book, I, Cyborg, he describes his research as "the extraordinary story of my adventure as the first human entering into a cyber world."

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology

3 Comments
Posted April 27, 2008 at 8:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. DonGander wrote:

All this from someone who, if like the remainder of scientists, has no adequate definition of “life”. No one yet knows what “life” is, though God invented it.

If I handed you a beaker full of life would it be solid, liquid, or gas?

Worship God, today, and be not afraid.

Don

April 27, 8:23 am | [comment link]
2. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

Just like fire, any other technology is a good servant but a bad master. This overeducated fool seems to have forgotten that.

April 27, 9:08 am | [comment link]
3. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Uncle Andrew at play before Jadis arrives.

April 27, 8:12 pm | [comment link]
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